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tv   Book Discussion on We Are Afghan Women  CSPAN  March 19, 2016 11:00pm-12:01am EDT

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he could say ii want there to be a 20 percent flat tax. congress does not do it. ii won't prosecute anyone who does not pay their taxes above 30 percent. think about what presidents can do. rewrite the law even if congress will not pass it. he could enforce the exact opposite. so president obama has gone so far out on a limb for someone like me, i can't go that far with it. >> well, he just told the secretary of homeland security not to the port. what is the difference? >> guest: he used executive power.
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he has recently told the person, the cabinet secretary to cut down on removals. and so the number has dropped significantly. removing more aliens than any president ever have before. now that has dropped enormously and has basically said that people who could be removed, you are safe. >> host: the children brought here by parents. and then the other, the parents come here and so now they are illegal and american. >> guest: and these are millions and millions of people. that might be ten to 12 illegal aliens in the country, and this is a huge
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proportion, millions and millions. the problem is the statutes written by congress do not make exceptions. i wish that people on both classes were allowed to stay. it is not the pres.'s job president's job to decide who gets to stay in the country and who doesn't. >> host: two years ago i said, so,, so, what will you be writing about obama ten years from now. it is not ten years. it is six. >> i was pleased. >> i went back and reviewed -- refuted. i am concerned about his expansion of domestic property. and then you said, he has given a lot of executive power. i don't like that.
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>> he has done more by turning over electronic surveillance and its approval. what worried me was, to me, and crisis in command, the point of the presidency was tacked vigorously and decisively and the speed in the face of.threats and foreign threats the things that congress and legislators could not anticipate. that is not important for domestic affairs because congress, the states, you can write laws to anticipate, andanticipate, and as things arise you can rewrite the law. that is why you use a legislature rather than one person. to me the story at the end of the obama administration is, that original framework
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has been turned upside down with this administration. you see the president withdraw even more. he is deferring the courts and congress. even using international agencies and the un comeau what he can come of it is using the figures this and power. he is using it on domestic matters, and his administration is pursuing where common sense should take care of matters, but he would rather have a permanent, large regulatory state take care of it. i don't know how that ever gets turned around. >> host: your next book. come back. >> guest: i promise it won't be 50 years. >> host: thank you. >> guest: thank you.
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♪ >> when i tune in on the weekends it is authors sharing new releases. >> watching book tv is the best television for serious readers. >> a longer conversation and delve into the subject. >> they bring you author after author after author. fascinating people. [inaudible conversations]
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>> good afternoon. welcome to the us institute of piece. i am absolutely delighted to welcome here this afternoon for her 1st visit, misses bush., mrs. bush. we are happy to have you here, and i want to welcome the ambassador from the islamic republic of afghanistan. and we have many other guests in the room. thank you for joining us. and for those of you who are new comeau we are an independent national institute founded by congress and dedicated to the proposition that piece is possible,, practical, and essential for us and international security. we pursue a vision of a world without violent conflict but working in
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conflict zones with partners and equipping them with tools, knowledge, and training. there is probably no place then afghanistan working with civil society and government partners. so we are delighted to have today a panel to discuss exactly who some of the powerful women are helping to make these possible in afghanistan. i have the distinct privilege of introducing our panelists and moderator. you will have ushers coming down the aisle to collect question cards for questions after opening remarks. if you have a question, write down your name,name, affiliation, one with your question on the card. first, let me welcome mrs. laura bush.
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she has traveled to more than 76 countries76 countries including more than two solo trips to afghanistan, and today as the chair of the women's initiative of the george w. bush institute she continues to work on global healthcare innovation, empowering women in emerging democracies, education reform and supporting the men and women who have served in america's military. they also have with us a gender activist with more than 25 years of experience in economic development and advocacy. extensive experience in capacity building and ngo development in afghanistan, worked with the afghan civil service commission and government counterparts to increase women's participation in government and currently serves as
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senior gender advisor. and is also feature in the wonderful new book we are here to celebrate. finally, i am delighted to introduce mr. stephen have currently serves as the chair of us it board of directors as our wise counsel and champion. previously steve was the assistant to the president of the national security affairs to then-president george w. bush. from january 2001 to 2005. assistant to the president and deputy security advisor. please join me in giving a warm welcome. [applause]
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>> all right. >> we are delighted that you can be with us and delighted to have you here and delighted with your new book which is a series and collection of wonderful stories. you need to read it. what we will do is have a conversation among ourselves for 25 minutes or so and then have a question-and-answer period from you. cards have been distributed. please write your questions on the path to five on the cards and pass them to the aisles. we will in turn panelists
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and ask for closing comments we are delighted that you are with us here. i want to start with you. a long history of being an advocate and champion. the 1st 1st lady to deliver the presidential address and spoke about the place, challenges, and strengths of afghan women. why is this such a cause for you? why was it so important during your tenure? >> well, with the spotlight turned on afghanistan american women, including myself, so women who are marginalized, left out.
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the idea of the government that would forbid half of its education from being educated was shocking to american men and women. a lot of people started calling me to say i want to do something. one of my best friends from houston called and said, said,said, i used to be so glad i was not in your shoes , but now i wish i were you can do something, i cannot. right then we formed the council. and that was the beginning of my interest. all the years we lived at the white house and sense i have stayed in contact.
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>> i wanted to write about them. >> you said you got to. why this book in this way? it has a forward. it is a wonderful tribulation of afghanistan last 25 years. wonderfully written, but why this book in this particular like? >> it is called voices of hope. and because the voices were silenced i thought it was important for all of us to hear what they had to say. things have changed since september 11. i want people to know that. this is a great way for all of us to learn that only about each of these women and one man, but also for us
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to learn more about the history of afghanistan. shows the history starting with the soviets came in some of them ended up in the united states, but all of them went back after september 11. some lived there the whole time. >> you are one of the people in that book born in
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afghanistan, came to the us, spent most of your young adult life there until september 11. he decided to go back. tell us about your decision and what you have been doing there and your life there. >> why you were not in afghanistan. >> i want to thank you and then privileged to be here. putting together a dynamic event thanking everyone to be a part of this. just graduated from high school. my high school was a diplomat and we were in czechoslovakia. and we heard the russians
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spoke which was a shock. it came in such at 1st we did not know. they invaded the country. i was raised; ages. to me and was like okay, someone invaded. so we slowly immigrated to the united states. the gave a father was going to give him citizenship, green card. so to make a long story short we ended up staying
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for 25 years. september 11 happened. when september 11 happened my father was one of the 1st people that went. so sorry opportunity because a lot of were telling me don't go, it's dangerous. i have such passion to go back and dollars of people being and suffering and having all the opportunities that i had in the united states. so there were three of us. i live in california.
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which started -- we decided to start doing fundraising and did so because i used to do a lot. but this time it was different. it is time to go. go and take exams. let's -- let's overcome that. the war in the towel, but after that i decided to go back. >> what was it like when you went back? what was the environment? and then tell us about it now.
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>> being raised in the golden days them being grateful living in america command i cherish my life. give me security, piece, serenity, opportunity, everything. i went they're for three weeks because i had $2. there going to college. going and will be back. [laughter] and so when i went back one thing i saw the triggered my heart and mind at the same time because when i landed they took me and my cousin to the american embassy so i
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got out of the car, i went ahead and started signing the papers and talking the soldiers in turn around, this was much 14th. i saw this.was polishing my cousins shoes were dollars. i started thinking how i was raised. they are.
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the next day and it was actually get the studying everything, daughters, there are people here have been around. girls that have not been the school. and so they were so supportive and that season. i am appreciative of that.
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>> the situation is changed. drastically. when you look at everything is not 100 percent perfect but the seats have been planted. it is security. insecurity and corruption.
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there is no way of enforcing it. so the security situation has deteriorated. and i know businesses are closing. and people are becoming unemployed. so this adds ten security because when something goes wrong you don't know. so right now that is where things are, but even though the security situation has deteriorated comeau we keep pushing.
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>> thank you. you went to afghanistan in 2005 2006 and 2008. talk about those trips comeau what you learned, some of the insights you had in the women you met during those trips. >> once i met the female governor and it is the province have the two huge towering.
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some of the women in this book i don't know, but there are a few. >> i would like to go back to something you started. intermittent press coverage about afghanistan, most dead. security is getting getting dead, taliban are on the move. i think we don't often appreciate how far the country has come. could you serve more about what has been accomplished in the last 14 years or so? >> like i said earlier, we
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have accomplished a lot. we are now girls going to school, clinics for women, i could go online. let me explain to you this way. i was looking for women. during the handicraft. ten or 15 women i could work with.
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so you 15 and 20 women. hundreds and hundreds of women with burke is sitting there. i stood there,i stood there, you have got to be kidding me. i pretty much give them a message and talk to them saying i'm here to help. that way they are not needy, not a charity case. against becoming a charity case. you have to work and earn your money in order to raise your children and help your
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family. that is what encouraged me to put together an ngo. so i put together one for widows registering over 10,000 women, and they did an assessment. i have only 66 literate women, only high school and talking to high school which is, some of them were 8th grade to a 9th grade. so this is what happened. and i was able to get, you know, funds from different institutions and donors, capacity building in tailoring, selling, english, literacy, computer classes. but looking today you see a lot of afghan women out
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there. at that time he could not find anyone, but now you find hundreds and thousands of women even in the provinces over kabul, the media, and television, journalists. it is not that difficult to find afghan women out. >> one of the things, very nice statistics showing the process. remarkable progress.
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continuing the work you started as 1st lady. >> well, for classes of women when they go home they have each other and can introduce each other to their colleagues and families and friends thereby broadening networks. your network is as important as your education level, and then societies where women are inside more.
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then woman's health initiative. the age platform all across. but now adding the testing
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and treatment. so that is a global health initiative focused on women as well. conferences and africa to talk about how they can use their roles corporations active their countries. and he said no they did not. >> she said no, they did not but we talk about good governance.
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they brought in that more than just african 1st ladies. >> charity, the head of our women's initiative. >> of course. we just came from a meeting, so afghan 1st ladies are part of our projects as well which is obviously why we're here today. this is an area where republicans and democrats have worked together.
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it continues to be a bipartisan effort ask you the frame of mind. >> the frame of mind, it has changed. they are not the same as they were 14 years ago. you have come a long way, learned their rights and are still learning.
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the other thing is i have learned how to advocate. they have this strong enter hope that keeps them going. i have seen women that have been through hardship command it surprises me how she comes to work the next day with a smile on her face and you have no idea what she is through. it is the mask that she wears in order to look
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strong, to move on command to convince her children and family that it is okay. and of course just like everyone else afghan women i like the others in the world, no different. it is just differences, the opportunities given and those given the us. and the insecurity plays a major role. so afghan women their dream is to be just like everyone else. even though things are getting rough, i don't know
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if you see in the news, they are advocating. so nothing stops them. >> we will turn to questions from the audience. i would like a question for each -- and both of you for do that. where is the unbalanced, are you hopeful for the future of afghanistan, and what can we for the international community and we as americans do to try to sustain the gains that have been made. >> i am hopeful partly because of what has been said because i do notice. and strength of afghan women which comes across in the book. that makes me hopeful.
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i also think that the whole international community need to continue to do whatever we can to support women in afghanistan and the afghan people. we need to help them build the economy so that people can become independent. those are things we must continue to do, but i was heartened president obama chose to keep our troops there. we need to make sure afghanistan has the security to build the stability to form their government and continue to work on what they are. very effective. she is helping to build a
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women's university so on the traditional fathers to new orleans of dollars to go to universities that there be an option for women. and that is a giveaway americans can support her to help in that way. obviously the most important thing is security. our troops to help on that. >> same question to you. >> i agree because security is the number one thing. we don't want the international community to leave. we have started something and must continue and make
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it solidified and make it happen and show the world that we were there and this happened. you just do not want to leave the country in chaos. we must continue what we are doing and want more money in the development of the military. if we have capable people and people have food on the table and jobs why would you need military? this is a question for me because i am not a politician, but i am an activist. for me, 1st, development. we must train the police and military, but if you have good citizens and don't have
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hungry citizens you will have a stable country. unfortunately a lot of money has been poured. it has not been poured in to the development side of it. a lot into the military and police which has not been effective either. allocated to defensive military, but if you could add to that give them jobs, create jobs we can do
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training one or two months. what should we do to make it effective. the donor, the afghan people, everyone. that is where i am coming from. >> security issue as well. one of the reasons the taliban, little boys were put in these madrasahs because they were hungry and got fed.
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food ends up being a security issue. in the rest of the world live in a life where we want everything in front of our eyes and do not think about the future, invest in the future unfortunately, and that needs to change. i am sure other nations have gone through the societal change. i think it will happen in afghanistan. we just have to be patient and not give up because once you do have to start from scratch. >> this, talking about the nonsecurity side and an issue that is dear to the heart, question from barbara , the us government is implementing the largest
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will of my program of its kind in the world. what should be it's focus, particularly as it pertains to women and girls? >> like i mentioned earlier, and my ngo and training for women lawyers. she would get having go to court and try to defend everybody else.
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if you cannot defend yourself how can you defend others. you have one understanding there are not making it because the judges that are there have already been paid or are stronger than me, across the table from me, stronger than me and i always get defeated. we need to focus on women in judges and attorneys starting from the university. maybe a 2nd or 3rd year to start practicing with them and advocating for them and teaching them how to defend themselves 1st.
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i also no lawyers and attorneys that are women were very tough. we need to focus on the younger generation that are going to be the next lawyers because the ones that are there for the past we can focus on the other generation.
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>> one of the ones, one comes from larisa and is a question for me. i would like to 1st ask, for both of you, this is from occasional. on and off again talks with the taliban. to the women that you work with and some of those in the book, other fears about the peace process and fears of an agreement between the government and taliban for
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what it will mean for women in the progress that has been achieved since 2001? >> go ahead. they elect that title. he is willing to participate in the peace process. it still on again off again, but the question is, there are some anxieties. >> a lot of anxiety among women and if you look at the whole picture, piece council
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audio of a peace? they cater to 65 or 70 million. they don't get sacrificed. that i want that to happen again because videogames so much and there is no way
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will sacrifice that. no way. over my dead body. politicians, sorry, the sacrifice my right.
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>> we talked about women and girls one that came up in the meeting how important do you think efforts are to reach men and boys. >> that has to be done. the women's council meeting. ii don't know why you are working with the women. it is the men that did the work. and we heard that earlier.
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talk about peace and conflict resolution and those other things. these boys were not parented. talk about a mother and dad. not taught how to get along with people. which is what i get family does. mother and father, to tell the children, the boys and girls how to get along with people in that of the people's lives matter, too. >> we 1st have to work
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with the boys because some men and boys are brought up foreman we don't have to. in the meantime most of the time because i believe it was born 30 years ago was born during the war, and you have to be protective of women and children. and the taliban came. so raised with that type of mentality. right now we're going through social change and it will take time, another generation or two for men to
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come out and say it is okay in a normal way. right now you see these challenges because of the war. the war has brainwashed for men. it will take a long time. >> a related question. first generation afghan american, raised to balance my heritage with my western surroundings.
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what clashes are complex have you seen a rise as a result of the resistance to women's equality. and how have you seen balance created with tradition and the western idea of women's equality and empowerment? >> go ahead. >> it is beginning to be like jeopardy. >> we know what it means. but when we talk about gender they all think women.
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and islam we have equal rights for women. everyone women without doing their homework the culture, the acceptance. civil we started the gender training, it did not go well. he had no let people know what it means. as an african-american i watched.
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they perceive you as an afghan no problem, but later in the day they will say okay. you know what, you have a passport. you have that option. i tell them yes, but i'm here. these are all the perceptions. they have to trust you. i do not blame them. now for the past 14 years thanks to address communities, donors pushing issues, politically to be in
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the senate the parliament the government, it has been as well. but until you overcome doubts they rolled out the western issue. does not matter. they think twice. >> thank you very much. we have come to the end of our time. i would like to turn to our panelists.
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>> would you all stand? [inaudible conversations] >> we left to bleak of the picture. not as bad as we made it sound. it is important that we all stay involved and keep troops there. one of the things we thought is so many nonprofits have gone in.


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